Water dripping from my body, my heart pounding as I stood there.
What dive would I try next? A back flip? Or would it be a cannonball?
As soon as I hit the water, I reached out for the opposite end of the pool, holding my breath until I reached it.
And then I would get out of the pool and go back to the diving board again. Dripping wet. Again. And again.
I was fearless back then, at least when it came to swimming and diving. Possibly ONLY when it came to swimming and diving. Having been lucky enough to have lived near a beach, and having a pool in my backyard, water just became a part of who I was. It set me free in ways I can't even begin to describe.
I was a fish back then.
Flash forward many years, I still live near the beach. I have for most of my life.
But now, I barely get my feet wet. I look at the water more than I immerse myself in it. Unless, of course, I'm in the shower or doing the dishes.
And we don't have a pool in our backyard. Too much work, and too much chlorine...And diving boards are now viewed as a safety hazard.
So, why does that old diving board still bring a smile to my face? Perhaps I'm still soaking wet standing on top of it. Excitement and anticipation dripping out of my pores.
You can take the diving board away from me, but when I look back upon my life, one thing becomes crystal clear:
I've spent more time holding my breath underwater than I have on the diving board, but yet I'm in continual search of that springboard.
In 4th grade, I plunged into music and didn't come up for air for about 10 years. In college, I studied accounting, and stayed underwater for about another 10 years. During that time, I became a parent, and have been submerged in that pool ever since.
When I dive, I go deep. When I finally rise to the surface, I am often gasping for air.
But the thing about parenting is that if you don't step out of the water and rediscover that diving board, you could lose yourself in the process.
Well, in search of that diving board, I went back to graduate school for teaching about 6 years ago. While I saw some things during that time that took my breath away, I mostly witnessed students and teachers who needed a life vest, a support system, a little inspiration, a breath of fresh air...
The very pool of supposed progress had gotten quite polluted indeed.
Who wants to swim in contaminated water? Not me. That's why I got out. And now....
My writing is my springboard. But is it enough? Will it allow me to go as deep as I want to go, without leaving me gasping for air?
That is the question.
Outside forces have forced many of us to swim in polluted water. It's not even easy to find fresh air anymore.
Oh, how I long to be that little girl once again, just for a day. The ripples of water were like music to my ears and sunshine on my face.
It took me a while to be able to hold my breath long enough to swim to the end of the pool without coming up. But with practice, I eventually did it.
And do you know what I did when I came up for air? I swung my head back and flipped my wet hair into a funny hairdo. I used to pretend I had a wig on, like George Washington, smiling and laughing all the way.
And then I skipped gleefully toward the diving board.
Well, now my blog is my platform. It took a lot of courage for me to step onto it, and at times it feels like this diving board is all too high for a novice. There's fear now that didn't exist before.
But still, the board has been set.
Thanks for watching me dive.
Happy New Year! May this be the year you discover your springboard.
And if there's any particular topic you'd like me to dive into, please let me know. Right now, my thoughts are on education, and I promised I'd get into more specifics about it. So, I will.
If you have another topic you'd like me to address, please let me know.
Again, thanks for reading! I know there are many other pools you could be treading water in....